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'A place of ideals in conflict': Images of Antarctica in Australian Literature


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Leane, E 2007 , ''A place of ideals in conflict': Images of Antarctica in Australian Literature', in CA Cranston and R Zeller (eds.), The Littoral Zone: Australian Contexts and Their Writers , Rodopi, Amsterdam, pp. 261-289.

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This chapter examines Australian literature (poetry, fiction and plays) that deal with Antarctica, focusing on each text's engagement with the Antarctic environment and the debates surrounding it. Beginning with two late nineteenth-century Antarctic utopias, the survey moves through the work of well-known writers such as Douglas Stewart and Thomas Keneally in the mid-century to more recent writing by Dorothy Porter, Les Murray, Caroline Caddy, and others. Less familiar material, such as poetry by Antarctic expeditioners themselves, is also discussed. The essay traces the rough progression in Australian representation of the far southern environment, from an initial utopian approach to an emphasis on its stark, 'timeless' icescape as a minimalist backdrop for human dramas to an appreciation for its changeability, complexity, and fragility.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Leane, E
Keywords: Antarctica Australian literature Literary criticism colonialism Thomas Keneally Douglas Stewart Dorothy Porter Les Murray Caroline Caddy Antarctic poetry Antarctic fiction
Publisher: Rodopi
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Copyright 2007 Rodopi

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